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There are great stories in the security industry that aren’t being told. Fascinating people who fly below the radar and aren’t being heard. We know because we encounter them in hallways, hotel lobbies and just about everywhere imaginable across the globe. Everytime we think “I wish I had recorded that conversation so that everyone could hear it…” Our goal with Security Voices is to provide a place for clear-headed dialogue with great people that’s unencumbered by the hyperbole and shouting that’s far too common in security circles. We don’t have anything against sponsors or sales pitches, but they run counter to our goal of cutting through the noise, so we don’t have either. We’re aiming for 100% clear signal.

Security Voices Security Voices

    • Technologie

There are great stories in the security industry that aren’t being told. Fascinating people who fly below the radar and aren’t being heard. We know because we encounter them in hallways, hotel lobbies and just about everywhere imaginable across the globe. Everytime we think “I wish I had recorded that conversation so that everyone could hear it…” Our goal with Security Voices is to provide a place for clear-headed dialogue with great people that’s unencumbered by the hyperbole and shouting that’s far too common in security circles. We don’t have anything against sponsors or sales pitches, but they run counter to our goal of cutting through the noise, so we don’t have either. We’re aiming for 100% clear signal.

    Security Snake Oil & the Products We Deserve - a Conversation with Haroon Meer

    Security Snake Oil & the Products We Deserve - a Conversation with Haroon Meer

    Could you create a fake cyber security company and rack up industry awards overnight? How about fabricating a founder and scoring them impressive job offers? Haroon Meer did both of these recently for a presentation titled “The Products We Deserve” as an exploration and commentary on the state of the industry. Jack, Dave & Haroon take on snake oil in security during an hour long conversation to determine exactly how someone could create a great company amidst the pressures that threaten to pull one in the wrong direction.

    The catalyst for Haroon’s presentation and our discussion is his personal experience at Thinkst where he has focused on building a “bottoms-up”, product first company that has grown steadily since its inception without venture capital. His thoughts, from how to deal with industry analysts to “ball pit marketing” at conferences, come from Thinkst’s direct experience aiming to not only grow the company, but grow it in a way that is true to their own values.

    How Haroon and Thinkst navigate challenges such as having a strong presence for the company at the RSA Conference (sans shenanigans) is an exercise in creative problem solving versus rejecting the experience entirely or simply following the crowd. While it would be easy for an episode such as this to be bleak or even angry, Haroon’s thoughtful approach and optimism give us a portrait of how we might emerge from our awkward adolescence as an industry into a better future.

    • 1 Std. 9 Min.
    Machine Learning & Connected Cars with Security Journeyman Josh Lemos

    Machine Learning & Connected Cars with Security Journeyman Josh Lemos

    Our 1st episode of 2020 is a story in three parts, beginning with hard fought wisdom of a veteran security practitioner, then diving deep into machine learning (ML) before wrapping up with how both security and AI apply to connected vehicles. 

    The first part of our 74 minute conversation with Josh Lemos is the backstory of how he started his career in cybersecurity as a consultant... and left services to join ServiceNow as a practitioner. His time at ServiceNow lays out a solid formula for fixing application security inside a growth company who can little afford to slow down-- or suffer the pain of the inevitable breach if the situation doesn’t improve.

    Jack & Dave’s conversation with Josh on ML lays down many of the basics and is intended to be a rough primer for future episodes where we will further explore the topic. We discuss how ML projects often take much more preparation than originally planned and topics that range from class imbalances, the differences between supervised/unsupervised ML, a starter’s toolkit and what to expect along with some rookie mistakes to avoid.

    As part of Cylance/Blackberry, Josh has recently been involved with connected vehicle projects where standard security techniques for detecting executable malware on laptops and servers can start to look like child’s play in comparison to effort required to properly diagnose events across the diverse hardware and software found in a modern car.  Before wrapping with our speed round, we look ahead at areas where ML may be able to make leaps forward in both vehicles and across cyber security.

    • 1 Std. 14 Min.
    Election Security with Camille Stewart: Looking ahead to 2020...are we ready?

    Election Security with Camille Stewart: Looking ahead to 2020...are we ready?

    While visions of sugar plums might be dancing in children’s heads as we close out 2019, the 2020 elections are occupying the head space of many adults in the U.S. In 2016, the importance of election security was made crystal clear. What’s happened since then? Are we ready for 2020? How do experts believe our defenses will hold up when tested by foreign and even domestic attacks?



    We spent an hour exploring election security (and more) with Camille Stewart, a cyber security attorney with experience working inside tech companies as well as considerable time spent on Capitol Hill in both the Department of Homeland Security and as a consultant. Camille breaks down the major aspects of election security and we discuss why it’s seemingly so fractured across municipalities-- and why that may not be such a bad thing after all.  Jack, Dave and Camille debate how election defenses might be improved, from the role of open source and private services to “defending forward” by taking out troll farms. While Camille declined to grade our readiness for the attacks in 2020 (which have already begun), Camille does make predictions about what will happen during the ‘20 elections, including the likelihood of domestic influence campaigns.

    Our ~75 minute conversation with Camille showcases the breadth of her experience in both the Silicon Valley and Washington D.C. She explains lessons learned from her time protecting brands at Cyveillance, breaking down the optimal way to get a social media company’s attention when you’d like to have something changed or removed. Camille also explains how State security might be modeled after progressive smaller countries who excel in cyber, leaning on her time working in foreign relations during the Obama Administration.  We wrap up with her recent investigation and resulting paper on how foreign nations, especially China, have been leveraging U.S. bankruptcy proceedings to acquire large amounts of American intellectual property on the cheap.

    • 1 Std. 17 Min.
    Cyber Security Entrepreneur Nand Mulchandani takes Silicon Valley to the Pentagon

    Cyber Security Entrepreneur Nand Mulchandani takes Silicon Valley to the Pentagon

    It all changed one day while Nand was sitting in traffic on the 101 freeway. Why am I doing this? Nand had experienced no less than 4 successful exits of cyber security companies where he was founder or CEO. He was one of the most accomplished cyber security entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley. At that moment, Nand decided to leave corporate life and set course to start a new phase of his career in the government.

    His first step was to uproot his family and move them into graduate housing at Stanford where he would finally do that MBA degree he had considered long ago. Throughout Nand’s hour long interview with Jack and Dave, Nand explains how his family embraces the abrupt change from predictable Valley life and comforts to community living inside a small apartment on campus. While Nand is determining how to best complete projects with 19 year-olds, his wife Sarbani and children flourish, starting a non-profit as a result of their experience.

    Nand’s next step towards Washington D.C. is a one year stint across the country to the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government where he aimed to learn “the art of politics”. His time spent amongst princes and fledgling politicians taught Nand important lessons in complexity, the power of good Queen ballad during karaoke and the occasional necessity of a Scorpion Bowl to wash it all down.

    After considering a run for Congress, Nand completes his plan to restart his career in government when by a series of unusual events (and a bit of start-up hustle) he becomes the CTO of the Department of Defense’s efforts in Artificial Intelligence. From his new vantage point, he shares what tech companies look like from the Washington D.C. perspective and answers heady questions such as “Who’s more trustworthy? A politician or a venture capitalist?” and we find out whether it’s easier to be in a government or a Valley boardroom.

    • 57 Min.
    Niloo Razi Howe: A Life of Adventure, Purpose & Epic Badassery (Part 2 of 2, Niloo's time in Washington D.C.)

    Niloo Razi Howe: A Life of Adventure, Purpose & Epic Badassery (Part 2 of 2, Niloo's time in Washington D.C.)

    The 2nd half of our conversation with Niloo focuses on her recent work in Washington DC where she holds several positions and recently (October 22nd, 2019) testified to Congress on the United State’s cyber security readiness. We begin with the topic of retaliation: What’s the proper response to a cyber attack if you want to discourage future aggression? Is cyber retaliation necessary to defend a country?

    With the 2020 elections on the horizon, Niloo explains her perspective on influence campaigns such as the highly publicized activities by Russia in the ’16 presidential elections. While often seen as election interference, she explains the broader goal of Russia’s strategy as an attack on the fabric of trust throughout a country— and how your phone and social networks can be complicit in this scheme.

    We end on a hopeful note: there are plenty of reasons to believe things will be better in the future in cyber security, starting with government restructuring from long outdated WW2 norms to a more modern organization design. And we learn why Niloo may not be your best choice as a new BFF on GoodReads.

    • 39 Min.
    Niloo Razi Howe: A Life of Adventure, Purpose & Epic Badassery (Part 1 of 2)

    Niloo Razi Howe: A Life of Adventure, Purpose & Epic Badassery (Part 1 of 2)

    There are stories, and then there are “epics”: tales of a journey so full of unexpected twists and excitement that you’re left wondering how all that could happen to a single person. Niloo Razi Howe’s life is such an epic. Whereas most epics feature men with swords, this one focuses on a woman with heels and a hockey stick.

    While Niloo’s story as an Iranian exile is well-documented, our primary focus is on her career which began as an author and quickly moved to becoming a McKinsey consultant and then attorney… until she founded one of the few modestly successful online pet supply businesses in the 90s.

    Moved by 9-11, Niloo found the cyber security market and made it her sole focus as an investor at Paladin Capital Group. We discuss her early learnings from investing in security which focus on her time working with a portfolio company selling the millimeter wave scanning systems that are now commonplace at airports everywhere.

    Niloo took subsequent roles transforming a startup and then tried her hand at transforming industry titan RSA as their Chief Strategy Officer. Niloo then left it all to focus on her terminally ill mother. This experience affected her profoundly and we wrap up this first part of our conversation with Niloo by exploring how she now structures her career on 3 pillars of different activities versus 1 job.

    • 56 Min.

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